Country/Date of Origin: Great Britain/1800s
The recipe for a Bullmastiff was 4 parts Bulldog and 6 parts Mastiff. The concoction was created to help gamekeepers catch poachers on English estates. In the late 19th Century their job was very dangerous. The penalties for poaching were so severe that a criminal would rather try his luck shooting it out with the keeper than face the law. The big, agile dog inherited the best of both ancestors. From the Mastiff it got size and courage. From the Bulldog it got aggression and agility. After a few generations, the mixture mellowed into exactly the kind of deterrent the gamekeepers needed. The dogs caught poachers not so much by biting them but by using their weight and knocking them down. Then, they would hold the culprit until the gamekeeper could take over.
The Bullmastiff was granted breed status by the British Kennel Club in 1924 and by the American Kennel Club in 1933.